03 October 2013 - 7:30 am CST
Chasing FITOW: The chessboard.

I flew overnight from Los Angeles and just landed in Taipei, Taiwan. It's early Thursday morning here—but rest assured, I'm wide awake!

Tropical Storm FITOW is slowly brewing in the Philippine Sea, well to the S. The computer models agree it should strengthen into a solid typhoon and come N and W. But the exact proportions of N and W motion are in question—and this has important down-the-road implications. 

After seeming to settle on Okinawa Island as a target over the last couple of days, the computer models got a little mischievous over the last couple of runs, with some of them now showing tracks as far W as mainland Taiwan! While that scenario seems a bit extreme, I have to concede that our chessboard is a bit wide at this point, spanning from Okinawa Island to NE Taiwan. Notice that much of this "chessboard" is open ocean and tiny, isolated islands—not exactly an ideal theater!

It is what it is. This is the game I signed up for:  island chasing.

For now, James Reynolds and I are still planning to meet up on Okinawa Island later today—and from there decide if we need to head W again.

Then it's FITOW's turn to make the next move in this hunt!

—Josh Morgerman